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Old 01-30-2018, 10:12 AM   #1
Jef1qr
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Default Wheel bearing ??

I have a 93 SL2.. For awhile now it makes a "rumbling or whirring" noise from front end while driving above 20mph...
It makes this noise while going straight and during left turns..
I noticed that the noise disappears anytime i turn the wheel to RIGHT a little bit.

Only then does the rumbling disappear..
Tires were inspected and rotated and it changed nothing..

I know when i turn a little to the right it takes weight off the right tire..
Is this stopping a wheel bearing from making noise ??

I also spun all wheels by hand and got NO NOISES..

thx

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Old 01-30-2018, 10:26 AM   #2
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1999 SL2
2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Wheel bearing ??

Wheel bearing

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Old 01-30-2018, 12:58 PM   #3
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1999 SL2
2001 SL1
Default Re: Wheel bearing ??

That is a typical front bearing growl and sign of a bad bearing.

With the right front wheel off the ground try putting your hands at 12 and 6 and rock the wheel. If you find movement then this is a sign of a bad bearing.

Turning the wheel by hand sometimes does not give you a significant noise as the bearing is not very loaded.

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Old 01-30-2018, 02:43 PM   #4
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1994 SL2
1999 SL
Default Re: Wheel bearing ??

Wheel Bearing.

Not *too* difficult to replace; but can be time consuming. If you have the tools; it can be done on a weekend day.

Here is one video I found- with walkthrough on replacing for a first gen too.


http:////www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zPuzVk_wf4

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Old 01-30-2018, 06:56 PM   #5
Jim@HiTek
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Default Re: Wheel bearing ??

I am going to go against the grain here and say your symptoms sound much more like an outer CV joint going bad to me. (These Saturns do have CV joints, right?) Had the same symptoms with my Subaru. I let it go and drove it for months afterwards. Then the other outer CV joint started to go so had to take care of it. Not that expensive and fairly easy job. At least on a Subby.

Do the wheel bearing test of course, but if that's not it, look at the CV joints.

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Old 01-31-2018, 06:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wheel bearing ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim@HiTek View Post
I am going to go against the grain here and say your symptoms sound much more like an outer CV joint going bad to me. (These Saturns do have CV joints, right?) Had the same symptoms with my Subaru. I let it go and drove it for months afterwards. Then the other outer CV joint started to go so had to take care of it. Not that expensive and fairly easy job. At least on a Subby.

Do the wheel bearing test of course, but if that's not it, look at the CV joints.
ur right.. I did hard left turn and it grinds.. Hard right does nothing..

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Old 01-31-2018, 08:14 PM   #7
nealt
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1997 SC2
Default Re: Wheel bearing ??

I had the same problem with my saturn 97... it was the front wheel bearing. You can also test it by jacking up one side of the front of the car at a time. Make sure that the other front tire is on the ground, then put the car in drive and let the raised tire spin. That will help you narrow down for sure which side has the bad wheel bearing. I had to press the accelerator pedal a little to get the speedometer up to 30mph before it would whine. I did this for both sides to isolate the problem bearing. A little unnerving, but just make sure your car is securely raised.

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Old 02-01-2018, 09:29 AM   #8
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Wrench Re: Wheel bearing ??

I second the wheel bearings.
Especially because you are hearing it while going straight.
I had to replace mine about a year ago because of a persistent droning noise.
I also had no odd noises when turning the wheels by hand.

If you have any noticeable play in the bearings (raise the car and tug on the wheels), replace them.
Especially the fronts, but the rears too.

The fronts have to be pressed out and in.
This can be a bit tricky but you can also buy complete new spindle assemblies if you don't have the tools or time to press them.
Replace the hubs while you are at it (minimal extra cost).

The rears are bolt-in cartridges (very easy).

200k++ miles on my car and I am still running the original CV links.
I did however re-lube them long ago.
Your mileage may vary.....

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Old 02-02-2018, 01:28 AM   #9
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1994 SL2
1994 SL2
Default Re: Wheel bearing ??

It's the wheel bearing.

If it was a CV-Joint, the noise would be dependent on load, and not
dependent on a direction of travel. An easy test for a worn CV joint
is to stop the car, turn the steering wheel all the way one direction
while stopped, let off the brake, and accelerate. You don't have to
build any speed, but a bad CV joint will tic-tic-tic as the car begins
to move. Try this test while turning both directions from the stop.

A bad front wheel bearing doesn't normally make a noise during
acceleration, but instead will growl like the engine noise from a
small private airplane as seen on television. The noise will either
get louder or more quiet as you turn the steering wheel while
driving at moderate speed, IE: 20-40 miles per hour. The volume
changes because the loading of the tire, and thus the bearing,
changes from pushing the bottom of the tire in or out in a turn
while driving. A general rule of thumb is that if the noise gets
louder when you turn right, then the left wheel bearing is bad,
and vice-versa. Otherwise, you can always roll down both front
windows and listen for the direction of the noise, though this may
need an independent listener in the back seat sliding from side to
side.

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